Children are among the most common populations to receive preventive health care services. Preventive services for children can range from regular immunizations and annual check-ups, to keeping track of their weight or making nutritional and diet changes.
These preventive services assist the patient in staying healthy as they continue growing into adulthood. preventive care is part of a comprehensive health strategy that looks to help the patient prepare for tomorrow while also staying on top of what is happening today. Continue reading to learn more about some of the most important preventive care services for children.
Creating a Child Care Checklist
Making sure a child has the care they need can take many different forms, but it may typically include screening for autism at 18 to 24 months, behavioral assessments for each stage of the child’s life, periodic blood pressure screening and other services.
It may also be appropriate to assess whether the patient is at risk for any conditions such as hypothyroid disorder, as well as vaccination against measles, pneumococcal disease and other common illnesses for those in their age group. Sensory testing may be completed as well, including hearing and vision tests, reflexes exams and respiratory health tests.
Screenings and Check-Ups
For children, health screenings and regular check-ups are important for gathering useful information about their current state of health. These assessments may also guide treatment or therapy recommendations that can include prescription medications or counselling services. There are several strategies doctors may take when assessing a child’s health, but they might be physical, behavioral or developmental in nature.
Some of the screenings and tests could involve:
- Blood screening for newborns to spot abnormalities.
- Regular, on-going check-ups for children of all age groups.
- Developmental screenings that evaluate the patient’s cognitive abilities.
- Autism screenings for children between the ages of 18 and 24 months old.
- Sensory testing for both vision and hearing from 11 to 17 years old and also for newborns.
- Measuring the patient’s height, weight and body mass index (BMI).
- Hepatitis B and HIV screenings for at-risk adolescents and young adults.
The purpose of these assessments is to gain accurate feedback about how to encourage a normal development process, both now and moving forward.
More About Developmental and Behavioral Screenings
Proper early screening and psychological testing may be able to help pick up on any developmental issues a child is facing. This is why it is recommended for them to receive behavioral assessments from 0 to 11 months old, from 1 to 4 years old, and from 5 to 10 years old to see that they are functional and free of cognitive disability.
If issues are present, the doctor could recommend further therapy, treatment or prescription-based medicines to assist the child in re-establishing a stronger mental and physical foundation for a healthy life. These types of screenings are designed to put the patient in touch with appropriate therapies and solutions for addressing any mental health or developmental obstacles they are facing.
As a core part of a comprehensive approach to children’s health, immunizations can give a child’s body what it needs to fight off common illnesses from an early stage. They help prevent any long-term problems both now and in the future. There are several conditions that immunizations defend against, including the following:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Pertussis (Whooping cough)
- Varicella (Chickenpox)
Be sure to check with your doctor to make sure your child is up to date on any recommended immunizations. Vaccines can make the difference between good health and costly medical expenses down the road.
Supplements and Nutrition
If a child patient is nutritionally deficient in any key areas, it may be recommended that they begin taking appropriate dietary and nutritional supplements to restore their immune health or normal bodily processes. This could take many forms, but could include iron, calcium or magnesium supplements and other important vitamins.
Many parents include regular vitamins as part of a child’s regular diet, and diet shouldn’t be overlooked when it comes to ensuring children have the nutrition that they need. Additional supplements and nutrition for children could include:
- Iron supplements for children facing anemia between the ages of 6 and 12 months.
- Calcium supplements to support strong bones, tendons and muscles.
- Magnesium for antioxidant effects and bone support.
- B vitamins and protein for growing muscles and brain health.
Adding regular supplements can be a powerful way to be certain a child’s body has what it needs to stay protected and supported throughout the growing process. Be sure to consult with your doctor or a trained pediatric nutrition specialist who can help you shape a healthy diet plan or recognize areas that may need additional supplements or nutrition.
Hygienic Preventive Child Care Services
Good hygiene habits are important to prevent the spread of dirt, bacteria and plaque that lead to infection and illness. Maintaining proper hygiene is an essential part of taking preventive measures that can reduce the duration or severity of an illness, while also protecting the body from any dangers. These actions are usually simple in nature but could include:
- Regularly washing hands.
- Daily teeth brushing and flossing.
- Bathing or showering regularly.
- Learning to use the bathroom correctly.
- Maintaining a healthy sleep schedule.
- Keeping fingernails trimmed and clean.
These habits and more can help the child make sure they don’t place themselves into an unhealthy situation or take steps that can cause exposure to harmful germs or situations. While often overlooked, proper hygiene habits have more impact over the health and safety of an individual, especially children than may at first be realized.
Children’s preventive health care is a portion of comprehensive pediatric medical coverage that helps families and doctors assess the patient’s needs and deliver the care they require. In some cases, this could mean regular wellness checkups that continually assess the progress a patient is making in response to certain therapies, or how to proceed with a given treatment plan.
Doing the work early on can mean sparing the patient or family confusion when it comes to what services may be necessary or what to look out for in coming years. Every situation is unique, but preventive child care may be beneficial to those with special needs or anyone requiring support and treatment for a wide range of physical or psychological factors. As always, it’s important to consult closely with a licensed and trained professional in such areas to determine what approach will be most effective.